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California Sued to Halt Dumping of Toxic Oil Waste

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The Center for Biological Diversity said that environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the US state of California to stop the oil industry from dumping millions of gallons of toxic oil waste into dwindling underground water supplies.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the US state of California to stop the oil industry from dumping millions of gallons of toxic oil waste into dwindling underground water supplies, the Center for Biological Diversity said in a press release.

“Today’s lawsuit asks the court to declare the new regulations illegal and force California officials to halt illegal oil industry injection operations in the state,” the release, issued on Thursday, said.

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The lawsuit challenges new state regulations that would allow oil companies to inject fluids into aquifers until February 2017 in violation of state and federal law and despite a water-scarcity crisis caused by the worst drought on record, the release explained.

Wastewater includes high levels of cancer-causing benzene and fracking fluids, often associated with cancer and birth defects, the release stated.

The oil and gas industry has traditionally disposed of the polluted water by injecting it deep underground in disused oil and gas wells, or injection wells.

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